Kelly Slater is telling us a story. It starts with a man name George Greenough.
“In the 1960s, George made a famous surf film called The Innermost Limits Of Pure Fun. He took a Hollywood camera, rebuilt all the components himself and turned it into this smaller camera.
“It was the first time I was able to catch that first person look”
“He was a kneeboarder, so he would strap this camera to his back and pull into the barrel. He had the first point of view (POV) shots in the barrel.”
And so began the birth of the POV camera. It wasn’t until over thirty years later, GoPro came along and revolutionised handheld waterproof cameras as we know them today.
Kelly Slater is one of GoPro’s most well-known athletes. He’s therefore had a fair amount of time playing around with these mini cameras. Here are his top tips for using a GoPro while surfing…
It wasn’t always this easy
“Cameras have always been these big, heavy things – until the GoPro came along. So for me, it was the first time I was able to capture that first person look. I could show my mum, you know. Now I can literally go on surf trips and not take a photographer with me. Me and my friends film each other. I could show my mum, you know.”
The best way to capture a barrel shot? Put it in your mouth
“I have an orange floaty on the back and I just bite it. I also have the handle, I just grab that in my mouth too. The wetsuit we now have has a zip on the front, so there’s a little flap and I can put the handle in there.”
Keep your subject close
“One day, I went surfing with a friend. He was like, “Hey, I’ve never shot with a GoPro. I’ll just ride longboard and try to film you.” He ended up with these 30 second clips where I’m so far away you couldn’t see me. It’s about understanding the furthest distance and getting that perspective.”
Try the LCD screen
“The LCD screen is great, but I personally like the surprise of not knowing until I download it.”